Delivered to your inbox on the 4 th Thursday of every month, MLA’s “Primary Source” is an exclusive, first-hand account of the latest news and announcements from the staff of the Michigan Library Association.
September 26, 2019
Letter from Debbie
Stronger Together. That is how MLA views the impact our members have in communities and throughout Michigan when all types of libraries – school, public, academic and special – work together. In all that you do, your value and importance are increased not only with those that patronize your libraries but also with those that are leaders in your communities, schools, and businesses. MLA’s role…keep all libraries in the limelight and make sure that our successes are celebrated and our challenges addressed.

So what better time than now to begin highlighting our successes…October is the time to celebrate! 

Michigan's Senate leadership and Rep. Mark Huizenga in the House declare October as Michigan Library Appreciation Month. MLA is thrilled to take the lead role to help you find ways on a daily basis to celebrate.

MLA Names Jaimy Gordon
2019 Michigan Author Award Winner
We are pleased to announce that Jaimy Gordon has won the 2019 Michigan Author Award.

"O ur work group was impressed with the rich language and complex characters represented in Ms. Gordon's works over her lengthy career. We were also greatly moved by the influence she has in developing emerging Michigan writers through her profession as an English Professor," s aid Michigan Author Award Work Group Chair Dee Beaver.

Join us on Friday, October 18 at MLA 2019 Annual Conference in Novi, for a luncheon in honor of Jaimy Gordon. A book signing will follow the luncheon presentation. Tickets for the luncheon are available for $35.
We are excited to announce the winners of the 2019 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! awards at MLA 2019 Annual Conference this October in Novi.

The awards selection group members worked throughout the year spending thousands of hours reading, reviewing and ranking hundreds of books to establish their lists of the top titles published in 2018. We look forward to revealing the winners and honor books on Wednesday, October 16 immediately following the opening keynote address. For those not attending the conference, we will share the news on social media so keep an eye on Facebook and Twitter!

Review the short list of titles vying for the 2019 Mitten, YouPer and Thumbs Up! awards and share them with your patrons to see if they agree with our work groups’ selections.
Nominations for MLA Board Open Oct. 3
Do you know someone who would be a great addition to the MLA Board of Directors?
On October 3rd, MLA will open the call and seek nominations/self-nominations for the B oard of Directors as well as the President-elect position, with terms beginning in July 2020 and ending in Jun e 2023. Se rvice on the MLA Board is an outstanding way to contribute to the organization and to make a positive impact on our library community. The board is entrusted with setting the strategic direction and policies that govern the association’s activities. It is an active board and expects its members to take an engaged role in the association.

Serving on the Board of Directors is a significant commitment, but one that provides members the opportunity to learn new skills, grow professionally and personally, build their network and represent the voice of the MLA membership. Watch your email for the Call for Nominations that will open on October 3 and close on November 1, 2019 .   More information about qualifications and criteria is linked here.
Notice is hereby given to MLA members that the Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, October 17, 2019, at the Suburban Collection Showplace, Novi, Michigan in the Crystal/Onyx room at 4:45 p.m. Annual conference registration is not required to attend the annual meeting and all members are welcome and encouraged to attend.

The annual meeting is a time to hear about MLA’s progress during 2018-2019 and to vote on any matters that are necessary for membership review. This year, the MLA Board has reviewed and voted on a series of by-laws changes and is sending them to the membership fo r final approval. The by-laws were last updated in 2013 and the most current updates are linked here for you r perusal prior to the meeting. Changes include cleaning up language for the Secretary/Treasurer position, the immediate past president role on the nominating committee, and eliminating reference to by-law changes from 2010 among other small updates.
Sharing Progress on MLA’s New Strategic Plan
As we reported in August, MLA has contracted with NEW Center in Ann Arbor to conduct a portion of the strategic planning process. Over the course of the past month they have completed a series of five strategic interviews and have collected close to 500 responses to a membership survey. Our sincere thanks if you took time to complete the survey.

On September 20th, NEW also facilitated a mission development session at the MLA board meeting. After a quick analysis of the results from the survey, we thought it would be nice for the membership to see th e collective input provided to the survey questions. But we are far from done. As we continue to delve deeper to finalize our planning process, we have appointed a small group of board members to help Executive Director, Debbie Mikula write and complete the 2020-2022 planning document. Our current timeline is to have a draft document by the MLA December board meeting.
New Strategic Partner Memberships
A new strategic partner membership option will soon be available for organizations that would like to partner with MLA and connect with the Michigan library community. On September 20th the MLA Board approved a dues structure for Strategic Partner Members. Strategic Partner Members are entities or organizations that are supportive of and have an interest in libraries, library cooperatives, consortiums, or library schools.
The new dues structure will allow non-profit entities to join MLA for $170 annually, and for-profit entities for $300 annually. Our hope is that in implementing this new membership option we continue to strengthen the library community in Michigan and offer a forum for partnerships and collaboration with community organizations, and organizations that provide goods and services to the library community. We will be reaching out before the end of the year to those already identified in our database and adding this category on our website.
ADVOCACY - #StrongerTogether
On September 20th the MLA Board of Directors unanimously supported a statement to condemn the actions of Macmillan Publishers who recently announced policies that severely limit public libraries’ ability to purchase and lend eBooks and eAudioBooks. In the statement, MLA asked Macmillan to reconsider their purchasing and lending policy to libraries. Read the statement here.
Over the past year, licensing terms for libraries have changed dramatically resulting in fewer copies available and longer wait times for readers. Libraries are routinely limited on the number of digital copies they are allowed to purchase or forced to wait months after a book is released. When they are allowed to purchase eBooks and eAudiobooks, libraries often pay three to five times the consumer price.
MLA’s CALL TO ACTION : We encourage you to speak up and send a letter to Macmillan today and be heard. Contact information is included in the statement linked above.
We are also following the lead of the American Library Association who are asking all libraries to get their patrons involved as well. If you believe there should be  # eBooksForAll  - please sign the petition at   Tell Macmillan Publishers that limiting libraries to just one copy of a new eBook release is unacceptable!
MLA Supports K-12 School Libraries
MLA is proud to support our sister organization – the Michigan Association for Media in Education (MAME) and the Michigan Department of Education’s goal to employ full-time, certified school librarians in every Michigan school. As K-12 school budgets have decreased and technology has taken over our lives, the question of employing certified librarians to serve our schools has risen to the surface.

MLA believes that now, more than ever, the need exists to advocate for higher standards and supports the right for every student to have equal access to resources and information by placing a certified, qualified and credentialed librarian within every public school in Michigan. Read our statement here. We hope you will also take time to let MAME know of your support. Our work entails supporting ALL libraries and we will continue to exude the values we hold dear...Stronger Together.
Free Narcan Prescription for Public Libraries
Attention public libraries! MLA is working with Emergent BioSolutions, the only provider of Narcan nasal spray in the country, to provide a free nasal prescription for this life-saving opioid antidote for our public libraries. It’s quick and easy to opt-in and Emergent will also provide a one-page, easy-to-use instruction sheet and a short training video to show your staff what to do in case of an emergency. More information and a link to the order form is available here. Learn more
Advocacy Day in Lansing Scheduled
Library Advocacy Day has been scheduled! Join together with MLA and hundreds of library advocates from around Michigan on April 22, 2020 in Lansing and make your voices heard! This is a full day of advocacy training and legislator meet and greets. Attendees will attend a half day of   advocacy training in the morning   to learn the latest research and legislative priorities from the experts. The afternoon will be dedicated to “meet and greets”, when advocates take their passion, knowledge, and stories to the state Capitol for meetings with their congressional leaders to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased funding for libraries throughout Michigan. 
New to Advocacy?  Don’t Worry! MLA will be there with you every step of the way, the morning training session will give you everything you need to know to speak confidently about your views about the importance and value that libraries bring to our communities. Afterwards attendees will meet with legislators in teams depending on appointment schedules. Our lobby firm, GCSI will take care of arranging meetings for all registrants with those in leadership roles in the House and Senate and those serving on Committees dealing with current legislative priorities.

More information will be available on our website in the near future, but mark your calendars – APRIL 22, 2020 - arrange a carpool with your library colleagues, talk with your co-op about sharing a bus with other libraries in your region. MLA will be putting together the details and will hope for a large turn-out of library supporters to share our message.
MLA 2019 Annual Conference
Our doors are open and you're invited to MLA 2019 Annual Conference this October 16-18 at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi.
This year we are dedicated to exploring and promoting values of equity, diversity and inclusion in our libraries and the communities we serve and our fantastic lineup of keynote speakers, spotlight sessions, breakouts programs and programming throughout the event will highlight the importance of these values and inspire us to consider, plan and act with less bias, more kindness, open minds and open doors.
Advanced rates expire October 4, 2019. Save money by registering for conference today! For detailed information including a full schedule of events and session descriptions visit us at .
We look forward to seeing you in Novi! Questions can be directed to or (517) 394-2774.
MLA Annual Conference Artist-in-Residence
Artists are a conduit and interface between ideas and culture, and their way of thinking revolves around public spaces and presentation, aesthetics, and conveying a higher concept. The 2019 Annual Conference Work Group felt it important to not only deliver factual and informative content on diversity, equity and inclusion during our event, but also to be able to share our thoughts and feelings by including an artist-in-residence who will listen to you, engage with you and then deliver a summary of our time together. We believe that we have found that artist in Suban Nur Cooley.

Suban will be listening to the ideas flowing throughout the conference and will use those themes to produce a spoken word poem reflecting the mission and goals of MLA and members. The poem will be delivered live on Friday, October 18 at 12:30 p.m. immediately following our closing keynote with Dr. Gay.
Suban Nur Cooley is a writer, poet and editor living in the Midwest where she is a doctoral candidate at Michigan State University. Her research focuses on women of the Somali diaspora and how their identity performance is affected by memory, migration/displacement and assimilation.
First Time Attending Annual Conference?
Check out MLA Professional Development and Meetings Manager Amber Sheerin's top tips for attendees and answers to FAQs and register today! We can’t wait to see you there!
MLA's Spring Institute for Youth Services
Call for Proposals
MLA's Spring Institute for Youth Services Call for Breakout Session Program Proposals and Cool Things My Library Does Poster Presentations Now Open!
You’re invited to submit a proposal for a breakout session or poster presentation at MLA's Spring Institute for Youth Services, March 19-20 at the Sheraton Hotel in Ann Arbor.

The conference theme is People First, and we will aim to educate and honor library staff and patrons through people-first practices in hiring, advocacy, displays, programs and collections. All topics are welcome to be proposed. Examples could be, but not limited to: early literacy, diversity, coding/STEM, grants/fundraising, music, personal development, collaboration, self-care, programming, collections and management.

Breakout Session Proposals are due Friday, November 8, 2019. Cool Things My Library Does Proposals are due January 10, 2020.

View detailed information including the program guidelines and timeline and submit your proposal via the online form.
Leadership Academy 2020 Registration Now Open
March 3-4, 2020 - Auburn Hill
May 11, 2020 - Grand Rapids
August 7, 2020 - Lansing
October 27-28, 2020 - Kalamazoo

Join the ranks of the hundreds of successful graduates of the Michigan Library Association Leadership Academy that have gone on to lead their libraries into the future. We are excited to announce that registration is now open for the 2020 biennial Leadership Academy.

Dating back to its inception in the 1970’s, Leadership Academy is one of MLA’s longest standing and most respected professional development programs with alumni in all corners of the state. Don’t miss your opportunity to join the 2020 cohort. Registration won’t open again until 2021!
Save the Date
March 19-20, 2020 - Ann Arbor

April 3, 2020 - Flint

April 20, 2020 - Jackson

April 22, 2020 - Lansing

May 1, 2020 - Traverse City

May 15, 2020

May 29, 2020 - Southfield

October 28-30, 2020 - Kalamazoo
View these jobs and more at the MLA Career Center.
Have a job to post? Members receive deep discounts on job postings through the MLA Career Center job board. Learn more here.

Northwood University Midland, MI
Southfield, MI
Northville District Library Northville, MI
Suttons Bay Bingham District Library Suttons Bay, MI
Henry Ford College Dearborn, MI